RNS Number : 9546D
Booker Group PLC
31 March 2011
31 March 2011
Booker Group plc
Quarter Four Trading Update
In the 12 weeks to 25 March 2011 total sales rose by 6.4% on the same period last year, with total like-for-likes up by 4.4%. Non-tobacco like-for-likes rose by 5.2%, while like-for-like tobacco sales increased by 3.1%. Fresh departments did particularly well with fruit and vegetables up 52%.
Total sales in the 52 weeks to 25 March 2011 were £3.6bn, up by 6.2%, and total like-for-likes were up by 5.1%. Like-for-like non-tobacco sales rose by 5.3%, while like-for-like tobacco sales increased by 4.9%. Like-for-like sales to caterers rose by 6.3% and retailers by 4.6%. Customer numbers increased to approximately 459,000 and customer satisfaction improved further. Internet sales increased by 29% to £526m. Booker Direct is doing well and Ritter-Courivaud and Classic, the two acquisitions we announced in October 2010, performed in line with expectations. Trading in India continues to be encouraging and we are in the process of opening our second branch in Mumbai and our first joint venture branch.
The Group had around £27m net cash at the end of the year, compared to £7m a year ago. Profits for the 52 weeks to 25 March 2011 remain in line with management expectations.
Charles Wilson, Booker Chief Executive, said:
"Booker continues to make good progress. In the last year customer satisfaction improved further, we served 28,000 more customers and increased turnover by more than £200m. Our plans to "Broaden" the business remain on track. Booker Direct is doing well, with Ritter-Courivaud and Classic fitting nicely into the Group. Online sales have continued to grow strongly and India is encouraging. The UK economy is expected to remain challenging for the next year but we are committed to helping our customers prosper amid the economic uncertainties."
For further information contact:
Tulchan Communications (PR Adviser to Booker Group plc)
020 7353 4200
§ Sales are stated net of value added tax
§ Ritter-Courivaud is a specialist fine foods supplier to leading restaurants, hotels and contract caterers
§ Classic is a specialist 'on trade' wholesaler supplying wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks to pubs, clubs and licensed premises
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